Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Sci-fi (but don’t let that label deter you!)
Published: January 15, 2019
The Dreamers is the second book from Karen Thompson Walker. I didn’t realize I had read her debut, The Age of Miracles, two years ago – but I remember how unique and unexpected it was. (Here’s the Goodreads synopsis, if you’re curious).
This was a philosophical and imaginative read. Set in a sleepy remote Californian college town, something strange is happening to the residents. They’re falling asleep and not waking up. It starts with teenagers but it soon spreads to young and old with no pattern or reason. The people who live in Santa Lora don’t understand what’s happening and the government is trying to contain the “virus” but once the quarantine is in place, it gets worse. Imagine parents trying to get to their college kids, people falling asleep at the wheel and pets being abandoned.
It’s intriguing to think about what happens to the brain when you’re asleep. And what about dreams? Do you remember your dreams? And in the case of someone in a coma, do they have any sense of time passing or awareness of their surroundings?
The author did a fantastic job of getting into each character’s head. From the college students Mei and Matthew to Ben and Annie and their newborn to Sara and Libby and their father… each character’s experience with the sleeping sickness was so varied and changed each person dramatically.
This book doesn’t make a big splash or have a big revealing moment – it’s a quiet story and like the title, feels very dreamy in parts. It was a plausible storyline and very thought-provoking!
About the Author:
KAREN THOMPSON WALKER is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Age of Miracles, which has been translated into twenty-seven languages and named one of the best books of the year by People, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Financial Times, among others. Born and raised in San Diego, she is a graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program. Walker lives with her husband, the novelist Casey Walker, and their two daughters in Portland. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon.
Karen Thompson Walker- TED Talk
QOTD: Do you remember your dreams?
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